Al Stall Jr

Another First-Time Starter Winner for American Pharoah

10th-Saratoga, $72,000, Msw, 7-29, 3yo/up, f/m, 5 1/2fT, 1:02.63, fm. ZERO TO SIXTY (f, 3, American Pharoah--Cat Moves {GISW, $315,350}, by Tale of the Cat) eased out to 7-1 after being as low as 5-1 and kicked it in an eighth of a mile from home to graduate in sparkling fashion in the Wednesday finale from Saratoga. Drawn widest in the field of nine, the $320,000 Keeneland September was beaten for speed and raced in the latter half of the field for the opening furlong before advancing outside into midpack...

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This Side Up: Whitmore Seeks Fresh Honors For Class of 2013

The seven-year itch, in the current racing herd, represents the best kind of mid-life crisis: reinventing yourself as a champion. An Eclipse Award would certainly be a credible aspiration for Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) should he derail the Volatile (Violence) express in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. at Saratoga Saturday. Next weekend, another flourishing 7-year-old, Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike), will seek to consolidate his ascent to the top of his own division in the GI Whitney S. Over the past two weeks, meanwhile, their contemporaries Zulu Alpha (Street Cry {Ire})...

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Tom's d'Etat to WinStar Farm

Leading GI Breeders' Cup Classic contender Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike--Julia Tuttle, by Giant's Causeway), hero of the 2019 GI Clark S. and an impressive last out winner of the GII Stephen Foster S. with a career-best 109 Beyer Speed Figure, will stand at WinStar Farm upon the conclusion of his racing career. Campaigned by Gayle Benson's G M B Racing and trainer Al Stall, Jr., he has compiled a record of 18-11-2-1 and earnings of $1,627,272. Tom's d'Etat is currently on a four-race winning streak and has his sights set...

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Easy Win for Tom's d'Etat in the GII Stephen Foster

Tom's d'Etat made his case for one of the top older horses of 2020 with a blowout performance in Churchill's GII Stephen Foster S. coming on the heels of three straight wins, including in last November's GI Clark H. under the Twin Spires. Allowing longshot Pirate's Punch (Shanghai Bobby) to dictate terms through initial fractions of :23.89 and :48.13, the 7-year-old loomed menacingly just to his outside before overtaking the pacesetter on the far turn following six furlongs in 1:11.67. Two lengths in front turning for home, the 6-5 choice...

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Tom's d'Etat Preps for Foster

G M B Racing's Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike) breezed six furlongs in a strong 1:12.80 Saturday morning at Churchill Downs as he continues his preparations for the GII Stephen Foster S. June 27. "The most incredible thing about his work this morning was it hardly looked like he even did anything but he just cruised out there," trainer Al Stall, Jr. told the Churchill notes team. "Now, he's back in his stall and doesn't even seemed like any of it phased him one bit." The 7-year-old entire, third to Seeking...

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Tom's d'Etat Sweeps to Victory in Oaklawn Mile

Grade I winner Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike) picked up where he left off in 2019, pouncing late to deny 'TDN Rising Star' Improbable (City Zip) in the Oaklawn Mile S. Saturday. Saving ground, the 4-5 chalk bided his time well back off the pace in mid-pack as Pioneer Spirit (Malibu Moon) and Boldor (Munnings) traded blows through opening splits of :22.90 and :46.09. Grade I-winning Improbable (City Zip), who had been stalking wide throughout, pounced on the pacesetter on the backstretch to take control heading into the far turn. Meanwhile,...

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This Side Up: Hope Springs Eternal With Tom's d'Etat

Hot Springs has long been a sanctuary when people need to avoid New York. The mobster Owney Madden settled there in 1935; the following year, its casinos and obliging law enforcement made it an obvious place for Lucky Luciano to lie low. A relative concept, lying low: Luciano was swanking around the Hotel Arlington with his showgirl Gay Orlova, a Russian refugee described by Broadway impresario Earl Carroll as "the sexiest gal who ever worked for me." Luciano was dressed up for the races on Apr. 1 when he had...

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Spa Notebook: Concrete Rose 'Probable' for Turf Tiara Finale

Ashbrook Farm and BBN Racing's Concrete Rose (Twirling Candy) is 'probable' to proceed to the final leg of the inaugural Turf Tiara series, the $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks, to be contested over a mile and three-eighths at Belmont Park Sept. 7. Also victorious in the GI Belmont Oaks last month, the $61,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile acquisition remains under consideration for Keeneland's GI Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Oct. 12. "We'll probably run at Belmont," trainer Rusty Arnold told the NYRA notes team. "If she's good, she'll probably run [in the...

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